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Gabriel and Patrick visited Wexford last week for five days of guided fishing. The aim was to fish for many species using various methods with some Bass high on the agenda.
Before there arrival the weather was very poor so I contacted them in advance to explain the situation and challenges it would present but the guys were committed to travelling to Ireland for there weeks vacation. I collected Lugworm’s in Dublin for the week ahead and gathered some crab from a local estuary to ensure plenty of quality fresh and frozen bait was available.
Bait angling using Peeler crab, Lugworm and Mackerel produced the best fishing with some cracking estuary flounder and some bass landed too during the week. Even when bait fishing light tackle was used which is very sporting and great fun while playing fish.
The mackerel are still about too, we had some during daylight hours at a rock mark.
Fishing was not hectic but despite this fish were landed every day with a total of 15 different species of fish caught by the end of the week, not bad considering we were not actually on a species hunt. Gabriel and Patrick fished hard all week and were rewarded with some good sized fish along with the smaller ones which they also enjoyed catching on ultra light gear, many of the fish caught were a new species for them with the bass being the most special of course.
Thanks guys it was a very relaxing and enjoyable week, hopefully we can do it again in the near future.
Smooth Hounds (Mustelas asterias) provide great sport during the summer months with Wexford beaches showing large numbers of hard fighting smoothies each year, double figure specimens are always a strong possibility. Common and Starry Smooth Hound are a both members of the shark family.
Bait fishing using fresh or frozen peeler crab baits is the most common method. When peeler is not available Hermit crab is a good alternative as can Ragworm be especially when hounds are available in large numbers. Recent sessions saw plenty of smoothies caught along with the occasional dogfish.
If you would like to successfully target Smooth Hounds get in touch to create your bespoke Workshop or Guided day, all equipment and baits are provided where needed and a great overall experience is always on the cards.
To me there is something special about catching Trout in Saltwater. Sea trout spend a significant amount of time in saltwater but are more commonly targeted in freshwater. Sea trout go to sea after roughly 2/3 years in freshwater returning at a later stage to spawn. Food is in much greater availability in saltwater allowing the trout to be in great condition ready for spawning. The sea trout is often overlooked with many anglers waiting for the bass to arrive in greater numbers in a few months time before dusting off the rods. The potential fishing is not to be missed by sport anglers in my opinion.
Targeting sea trout can be approached in many ways with lure and fly the preferred option. A medium light lure rod is ideal to use with ultra light rods similar to rods suited for light rock fishing also practical in some situations. Hard lures or metals ranging from 40mm to 120mm are used according to the time of year, smaller lures early in the year moving on to bigger lures as the season progresses. Sea trout will attack a big lure no problem, I have hooked trout to 8lbs weight on lures as big as 145mm so do not be afraid to fish using a bigger lure.
A 7 or 8 weight fly rod casting a floating or intermediate line would be a fair choice to combat windy coastal conditions with small sparse flies effective early season moving on to mini flatwings or deceivers during peak season. A good option is to fish a team of flies often a rays fly on a dropper with a slightly bigger fly on the point.
You can also successfully target them using methods such as popped up fish baits or free lining sandeels. Bombarda floats can also be used to present flys.
To give yourself the best opportunity of catching place yourself in a location where sea trout are more concentrated such as the lower reaches of estuary’s fishing either side of low water will increase your chances of catching because the fish will drop back into holding pools with the tide. Locations to focus on for sea trout include:
Open shore (perhaps between estuary’s – moving fish)
Estuary’s or Harbours (often brackish waters).
Sheltered bays or inlets.
As with all fish it is crucial you take care when landing, unhooking and returning sea trout. Reducing the number of hooks on lures and crushing barbs on all hooks is very important. Do not play fish for long periods of time but equally do not bully fish to the bank. Carrying a landing net and the correct unhooking tools place less stress on the fish.
Guided days and Workshops for Sea Trout are available however it must be noted that some areas are not open for fishing until mid march. A state licence is required when targeting salmon or sea trout.
Estuary’s are a special place to be any time of the year in my opinion, I spend a great amount of time in estuary’s throughout the country fishing or often time is simply spent walking, kayaking, boating or just observing the surroundings. Species such as Bass, Sea Trout, Flounder, Gilthead Bream and Mullet are the most sought after estuarine fish and can be targeted using bait, lure or fly methods.
A few hours were spent flounder fishing yesterday in the calm upper reaches of a south coast estuary. It was a impromptu session so as a result frozen crab was the only bait option. Tidal state was not ideal for the location either so the odds were against me from the start but I still remained confident in catching at least one flounder as water conditions were good. On location base camp was promptly formed with three hook flowing rigs strategically cast out about 10 meters from the bank. It did not take long before the flounder showed there presence with a typical slack line take. A couple of fish were landed before sundown and carefully released back.
Flounder fishing from harbours and estuary’s generally produces fewer than the open shore but usually bigger flatties with a specimen always a possibility. Fresh crab would be first choice bait but do not let its availability put you off as frozen crab or lug will catch estuary flounder.
With a fishing trip planned next morning the car was packed in advance with bait fishing and bait digging equipment. Upon awaking the following morning it quickly became evident that spare clothing would be required in the car because of the horrible conditions outdoors. Thankfully the forecast was for an improved evening.
A short drive to a local bait digging location to top up supply was required. Thirty minutes digging and plenty of lugworms were in the bucket to accompany the ragworms,crab and mackerel that was collected and prepared at an earlier stage.
All set for fishing and the weather had improved slightly as forecast, The poor weather earlier in the day seemed to have revoked other anglers from heading out as it was very quiet locally.
Tackle was promptly set up with clipped down rigs baited and cast out. It did not take long for the first fish a fair sized whiting to be landed. Most casts thereafter produced either whiting, codling’s or some very nice sized sand dabs.
Sea Temp is slowly decreasing with Met buoy 5 currently reading 13.2 degrees.
With the water temp at met buoy 5 currently reading 14.6 c and mackerel still chasing sprat ashore the past few days it really is hard to believe November is so close. Change is however slowly happening with winter species appearing and proper winter weather forecast too.
Ragworms, lugworms and peeler crab was collected once again this week with the hope of catching some bass and perhaps some other species also. A specific section of a mixed ground beach was chosen because of its previous ability to produce fish in similar conditions to what we are currently experiencing.
The location choice proved correct as schoolie bass were landed on a regular basis throughout the session hitting fast and hard in the nice surf. Other species landed on the night were whiting, codling, rockling and flatfish. Bigger baits were fished in the rolling surf and as a result hook sizes used were from size 2’s – 1/0’s on simple paternoster rigs.
This week saw the arrival of cold offshore winds that can make the fishing difficult but not impossible. Lugworms were dug and fresh peeler crab was collected in preparation for a few midweek bait fishing trips.
On Wednesday evening an east coast beach was chosen along with long rods capable of casting a few ounces, rung for fixed spool reels pushed 3 hook flappers made up with mostly Sakuma components into the light rolling surf. Two rods were set up providing action from the off with 6 flounders on the beach within minutes. Flounders were landed in singles and doubles for the rest of the evening to keep us entertained.
The following evening from a local pier another good fishing session was had with lots of fish landed on the same baits and equipment as the night previous. Flounders, Whiting, Poor cod, Codling and eels were all feeding well to ensure a busy night unhooking.
Click on any photo below to see more
Won’t be long now before the winter species arrive in larger numbers and size. The bait freezers are overflowing so here’s hoping for a good winter ahead.
Do you struggle to get the fresh bait you require when you want it? Have you considered collecting your own but feel it is too much commitment or too difficult?
Here at SEAS we can show you the skills and equipment you need to collect your own quality bait and store it effectively. Having a large range of quality baits is something often overlooked and as a result many anglers catch less fish or a smaller range of species when fishing.
Collecting your own bait is much more cost effective than purchasing it and the more organized you are the cheaper it becomes. Preparation is the key to catching fish and it is well known that the most successful anglers are the most prepared.
Advice is given on how to get the best out of your baits including correct presentations, tidal sequences, weather, seasons and much more tips, tricks and techniques. Everything you need to know is covered in this workshop from the very basic to the more advanced. It consists of two parts the discussion or theory indoors and the hands on part when we collect some bait.
Each workshop is bespoke to your requirements and locations also remain flexible where possible. If you would like to book simply get in touch by using the contact page. Bookings are available for the full twelve months of the year for all our services to suit you the angler.
It’s always advantageous to have a coastline that offers a good variety of available target species. South East Ireland offers just that to the angler who is prepared to quickly adapt to take full advantage of the sport on offer. With high pressure, calm seas and good tides conditions were certainly on our side.
This particular session produced a couple of hard fighting shore caught Tope with the biggest being about the 25 lbs mark. All fish were landed on pulley rigs with 6/0 Sakuma hooks baited with mackerel fillets and were released after some quick photos.
Stiff 13ft beach casting rods with standard sized Penn and Abu multipliers are required to cast big mackerel baits long distances. 15lb Berkley Big Game is my line of choice down to a 60lb shockleader.